Research

People still mate with Neanderthals. Why?

We know that Homo sapiens ("reasonable man")lived on earth with the Neanderthals. Moreover, DNA analysis proves that males and females of both species (or subspecies, if you will) mated. Of course, the daily routine for a working person in those times meant the clogging of woolly mammoths. But the same spark that today unites men and women was in prehistoric times. Otherwise we would not be here.

Neanderthals among us

Imagine the scene. One of the "sensible" squeezes red clay in his hands to make a beautiful pot, when he suddenly notices a big hairy guy who clumsily approaches her in a leopard leather loincloth. And then she thinks: "This is the guy." Or, conversely, the stocky Neanderthal woman, chewing on the dry skin of a deer, is fascinated by a beautiful thin guy who sculpts out of stones fancy arrowheads and draws on the cave walls. And she thinks: "He is mine."

Since here we are dealing with matingmutual agreement (an alternative is possible, but this is a different story), we need to consider the point of view of the woman, because it is she who will decide. Will she give herself to a big-breasted guy stretching her fist with faded flowers and mastodon meat, or fall in love with a skinny one, offering her beautiful ornaments carved from exotic shells?

In general, H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis held their own when it came to romance. Similar attracts like - this is a strong behavioral stimulus in pairing, which is observed today. Men and women, as a rule, marry and marry those who have similar traits. We prefer to enter into romantic relationships with individuals of our race, as well as selecting partners that are similar in education, height, BMI, social attitudes, relationships, religiosity, and even genes. The biggest factor in the choice of spouses - this is a similar IQ, and it strongly correlates with the years of study.

But sometimes women choose others. Psychologists have terms for such behavior of partners choosing outside their own group: hypergamy and hypogamy. But what do we get from understanding these terms? We would like to know why women do this.

We will not particularly argue why women goto marry those who are better than others - this is all clear. But for those who are qualitatively worse? What do women see in the stupid, but attractive Neanderthals they choose today, and how was this different from marriage games 100,000 years ago? The issue is especially important because today women choose Neanderthals more often, and the trend is likely to continue in the future.

As a rule, when a woman chooses a couple forlimits of its own IQ or educational group, it marries. This trend affects culture, ethnic group and race. Even in developing countries such as Nigeria, romantic partners tend to have the same level of education, but when there is a difference, women usually marry more intelligent ones. In some countries, this model was the result of the fact that women have not received higher education for a long time. Recently, the number of women who have received a scientific degree has steadily increased, exceeding the number of men in 2003, while the trend line for men in this parameter has decreased. Now that the gender gap in education is conducive to women, women in the modern world are more likely to marry with higher mental abilities and income.

In times when choices are limited, womenwill be content with Neanderthals, rather than being lonely - the biological clock does not stand still. It can also be assumed that during periods of shortage of men struggling to survive in the ice age, disease and war, the attractiveness of men increased, even if they were Neanderthals.

Another event in the modern worldThe Internet has become the promoter of changing the choice of women who prefer to marry outside their equal group. A study in 2017 showed that couples found on the Internet have far less common features than traditional couples between people who meet in the field — at school, among friends, at religious meetings, and so on.

But these mating models are outside of oneintellectual groups are more complex, since IQ is only one measure of intelligence. Similarly, the level of education has socio-economic foundations that partially reflect family background, so IQ and level of education are associated with a complex set of other factors influencing the choice of spouses. Even growth and IQ are related and are largely determined genetically. Genes influence behavior by determining the choice of partner, but mating influences the gene pool. Many factors influencing the choice of a partner, and a complex way of their interaction, can push a woman to choose a partner who is in some respects outside of her group, and in some ways inside.

Despite the attraction to romantic partners,that are like us, there is an advantage in pairing with someone else. In addition, romantic partners tend to have the same mental disorders - such as autism, schizophrenia, and depression. The same goes for smoking, substance abuse and crime. A study in 2017 showed that people who have committed criminal offenses before marriage, much more often marry other people who have a criminal record. After the wedding, the spouses commit even more criminal offenses.

The crossing between the first hominids is probablywas a problem in prehistoric times, and reproduction outside the group has the advantage of increasing the genetic diversity in the population. Neanderthal DNA in the H. sapiens genome is preserved today because it has some value for survival. For example, Neanderthal genes involved in innate immunity, which were mixed with H. sapiens DNA, gave an advantage to descendants.

Look closely at people. You never know who is in front of you - Neanderthal or reasonable man. However, is this important? Tell us in our chat in Telegram.